The Miami Dolphins were determined to get back to winning on their home field. Yesterday, they did just that. After a slow start, the Dolphins turned up the heat on defense and the offense started to show some life. The Dolphins defense surrendered a field goal on the Jaguars opening drive. However, the Dolphins defenders dominated the rest of the game and kept the Jaguars from scoring another point the rest of the way.
Offensively, the Dolphins answered the Jaguars field goal with one of their own. The Jags defense stalled on the following drive, giving the Dolphins offense the ball back. With the score tied 3-3, Jason Babin provided the Jags with good field position on his strip-sack-fumble. Chad Henne and the Jaguars offense stalled again and were stuffed on 4th and 1. The Dolphins offense used that spark and never looked back. The Dolphins went on to score 21 unanswered points on 2 touchdowns, a 2 point conversion, and a couple of Dan Carpenter field goals.
What I liked
Ryan Tannehill - In my view, Tannehill’s performance was the story of this game. After battling 2 tough defenses the last 2 weeks, Tannehill was able to post his most impressive stats yet this season against the #31 ranked Jaguars defense. Tannehill finished the day completing 22 of 28 (78%) for 220 yards and 2 TDs. I really liked that Tannehill used his legs more and ran the ball effectively (8 runs for 52 yards). I liked even more that he was smart enough to get down and not take a big hit at the end of the runs!
For the third straight week, Tannehill did not throw an interception. Tannehill looked a little erratic early, missing on a throw or 2, but he quickly rebounded and made accurate pass after accurate pass, leading the Dolphins down the field and completing 3rd down after 3rd down. The Dolphins converted on more than half of their 3rd down attempts in the game (54.5%).
Those 3rd downs weren’t always that easy, as the Dolphins running game struggled for most of the day. Yes, Reggie Bush rushed for 104 yards, BUT more than half of those came on 1 play. If you take out Bush’s 53 yard run, he rushed 20 times for 51 yards (2.5 yards per carry). We saw Reggie dancing behind the line quite a bit and taking negative plays, which created longer 2nd and 3rd down opportunities. I came out of this game impressed with Tannehill and I think we’re starting to see him ‘get it’. He took control of this game (along with the defense) and showed that he can lead this team. He also posted a QB rating over 123, which is the highest of his career. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the Bills next week, a team that intercepted him twice the last time these teams played.
Dolphins Defense - I really can’t even break this down into individual units because they all played really well. When you hold a team to 3 points, everyone on the defensive side of the ball must be doing something right. It was Chad Henne though, right?! I’m kidding! Take nothing away from the Dolphins defense, they did a great job on Sunday and set the offense up for success by getting off the field on 3rd and 4th downs. The Jaguars went 6-18 on 3rd and 4th downs, which means the Dolphins defense stepped up when it needed to. I am concerned about the Dolphins inability to create turnovers, but that’s a story for another day. (cont’d on page 2, click below)